Caving / Miscellaneous / Mountain Biking / Mountaineering / Water Sports

3 Minute read | Last updated: December 11, 2023 | Published: October 20, 2023

With any outdoor activity, you need to have at least a basic understanding of the weather and how it will affect your day.

Below is a list of the top tips you should know regarding the weather.

1. Sources of Weather

How many sources of weather do we need?

You should get at least THREE different sources of weather! This gives you a range of different forecasts, enabling you to come up with your own individual forecast.

The more you do this, the more you will notice that some forecasters are either optimistic or pessimistic.

Here is a list of popular forecasting stations we use in the outdoors:

2. What about the weather?

Seeing the weather is one thing; understanding how it will affect you is another.

You need to know the following:

  • Wind Speed?
  • Wind Direction?
  • Pressure System?
  • Fronts (Rain)?

3. How will it affect you?

Wind speed:

Knowing the speed of the wind is super important, no matter what your activity. This should have a huge impact on your planning. Are you going to the right venue? Are you planning a safe route, avoiding exposed ridges? Do you know where sheltered areas are?

For example, in walking, any winds above 20–25 mph will affect your balance; 30–35 mph makes it difficult; anything 40–50 mph becomes seriously strenuous and may blow you over. If you have experienced 60mph+, then you would know it is extremely difficult to stand (probably shouldn’t of been out that day).

Wind Direction:

The wind direction can tell you multiple different things. It may affect the feel-like temperature of the day; it will determine sheltered spots on the route and comfort levels.

Pressure Systems:

High and low pressure systems can affect the day differently.

  • In a high-pressure system, the winds tend to be light and come in a clockwise direction, bringing different types of clouds and generally more settled weather conditions.
  • Low-pressure systems are the opposite; they will come in an anticlockwise direction, with more chance of rain due to a different formation of clouds and generally unsettled conditions with many fronts.


  • Cold Fronts: These will generally bring a sudden drop in temperature, gusty winds, and heavy rain.
  • Warm Fronts: Drizzly, persistent rain with overcast conditions, with a slight rise in temperature as it passes.
  • Occluded Front: A mix of a warm and cold front. With a mix of different types of rain and a mix of temperatures, the skies are usually clearer once the front passes.

4. Planning

Once you are fully equipped with the weather information, you can then start your planning. You need to add every factor and consider if the plan for the day is adequate for you and your party.

Overall, we must plan the safest day possible!

If there is a doubt, there is no doubt at all.

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